Google lays off hundreds of sales staff - with rumors that business advertising deals "go AI"

Google app on phone
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Having cut thousands of jobs in 2023, Google has already started culling workers in 2024, with AI reportedly to blame for the most recent move.

Following around 1,000 job losses earlier this month, Google now looks to be targeting its advertising business, which has been streamlined and optimized by artificial intelligence.

At the end of 2023, TechRadar Pro reported that Google had been considering cutting advertising jobs, and the company has now confirmed that this is true.

AI is replacing some workers at Google

At that time, Google did not respond to our request for comment on the potential for job losses as a result of AI in the company. Now, though, Google spokesperson Chris Pappas confirmed that “a few hundred roles globally are being eliminated” (via The Verge).

Last year, it was reported that Google had a 30,000-strong ad sales group, but the deployment of AI tools has effectively boosted the productivity and efficiency of both workers and customers. Unless Google’s ad business suddenly picks up, the potential for large-scale layoffs could be frightening.

Currently, “a few hundred” are at risk. Assuming that’s around 300 workers, it equates to around 1% of the current ad unit headcount.

Layoffs earlier this month targeted a few different divisions (via The Verge), including some engineers and others working on Google Assistant. The job cuts were positioned as “changes to become more efficient and work better.”

According to a separate report by SiliconAngle, a Google employee wrote on the company’s internal meme board: “Thank you, our corporate overlords, for our new annual tradition” – a clear reference to the fact that the company made similar layoffs in January 2023.

A company spokesperson told TechRadar Pro in an email:

"Every year we go through a rigorous process to structure our team to provide the best service to our Ads customers. We map customers to the right specialist teams and sales channels to meet their service needs. As part of this, a few hundred roles globally are being eliminated and impacted employees will be able to apply for open roles on the team or elsewhere at Google."

They also told us that the company is expecting to increase hiring in 2024, and that channel relocation is a yearly and normal process.

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Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!